At least 50,000 copies of law books were given away during the inauguration of the Win-Win Monument, in a move to showcase the country’s legal accomplishments since the end of the civil war 20 years ago.
It will also help to deepen the people’s knowledge of the country’s judicial system, Justice Ministry’s general department deputy secretary of state Tit Saroeun told The Post on Wednesday.
The free copies were distributed to more than 10,000 people, with some obtaining up to five copies of different topics, he noted.
They were among the 1.1 million people who attended the three-day opening ceremony of the 54m tall monument, which concluded on Monday.
Saroun said the books consisted of 12 topics, such as criminal codes, civil codes, civil code procedures, and criminal procedures, and that it was the first time the ministry gave away law books to the public.
“Ordinary citizens don’t know much about the law. Previously we only distributed these types of books to the [government] officials and university students. This is the first time people of all walks of life were given the books."
“We distributed them because we wanted to showcase the Kingdom’s legal achievements."
“Another reason is so that people understand the legal consequences of certain crimes and know what to do when they are faced with legal problems. Hopefully, this would lead to a reduction in the number of crimes."
“The law stipulates punishments for those who commit libel. If they are aware of the consequences, they would stop spreading false information and thus such crimes would decrease,” he said.
Saroun said in the past 20 years, since the end of civil war, 19 new major laws were enacted. These were in addition to the laws which were established during the period Cambodia was overseen by the United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia (Untac).
A fourth-year student at the Royal University of Law and Economics, Rotha Chantrea told The Post on Wednesday that she took home four copies on different topics.
“Not many of these books are available at the library. Getting them is good for us,” she said, noting that some law books are very expensive and that the books that were distributed would encourage students and the public to learn more about the law.
‘In the works’
She stressed that she had some difficulty in finding books about certain laws.
“Some law books do not explain about criminal codes for instance. The laws were not understandable for us. We need to find another books, professors and legal professionals to make us understand about some procedures,” she said.
Justice Ministry spokesman Chin Malin said an e-library and mobile app which would contain all books related to the judicial system is “in the works”.
“We will distribute not only books but also court verdicts that all members of the public, including students and legal professionals, can use as study materials,” he said.
The ministry, Malin added, is striving to provide all means available for the public to easily access legal and judicial information.